Posted on

Ahh…Summer!

It’s here! I want to shout it from the rooftops, from the mountaintops, and from the sun-drenched beaches. Summer is definitely here. I see it in the overextended and heavy branches of my tomato plant, in the dirt covered toes of my kids, and in my neglected house, as we run out the door at the first sun sighting in an attempt to soak up as much vitamin D as we can.

We have plans to read books on the beach and wet our toes in the ocean. A new tent has been purchased and at least two camping trips are in the works. There are strawberries to pick and cherries are just coming on. Summer is here!

My days are planned around the food we can eat, in an attempt to sneak in as much of this season’s bounty as I can possibly muster. Berries are in our morning oatmeal and sit atop our freshly made frozen yogurt to cool us down in the afternoon. I pick vibrant green mint and chives and toss them into eggs and blend them into salad dressings. The cherries never even make it into the food, as the kids devour them by the bagful before I get to them. Corn sits next to our grilled chicken and is tossed into our salads, along with nectarines and fresh herbs. Summer is here!

If screaming from the mountaintops isn’t your thing, my featured salad recipe (below) will do it for you. It is loaded with all the best of summer: fruit so juicy it drips to the floor and turns everything sticky, sweet corn, and green-staining herbs – all making this salad the best sort of food for a picnic. Serve alongside barbecued chicken or vegetables for a complete meal. Put aside any leftovers for tomorrow, so you can linger in the sun all day without worrying about dinner. It’s the salad that heralds the arrival of summer for you, so you can just sit and enjoy it all.

Ashley Rodriguez

Food blogger www.notwithoutsalt.com

 

GREEN RICE SALAD WITH NECTARINES AND CORN

Recipe from Vibrant Food, by Kimberley Hasselbrink  (serves 3-4)

 

Green Rice:

3/4 cup brown basmati rice

1 1/4 cups, water plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more for the sauce

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Zest and juice of 1 small lime

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Fine salt

 

Grilled Corn:

2 small ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

1/2 lime

 

Other Ingredients:

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

2 medium-ripe nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (I used Feta)

 

Directions:

1.            In a small saucepan, combine the rice and water, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Let the rice stand for a few minutes, then fluff. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2.            Preheat the broiler.

3.            To grill the corn, lightly oil both ears of corn and place in a small baking dish. Broil about 6 inches from the heat, turning every few minutes, until golden and blackened in spots, 10 -15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob to yield about 1 cup. If you have more than this amount, save it for another use. Transfer the kernels to a bowl and toss with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime. Set aside.

4.            Transfer the rice to a large bowl. In a blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, lime zest and juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of water to thin the sauce if it’s too thick. Spoon the mixture over the rice, scraping any remaining sauce out of the blender with a spatula, and mix until the rice is evenly coated.

5.            To finish, add the corn and additional parsley and cilantro to the rice. Toss to combine. Transfer the rice to a serving platter. Sprinkle the nectarines and queso fresco over the rice in even layers. Garnish with additional parsley and cilantro. Best if served immediately. Can be made up to a day in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.

Posted on

Farm Update Wednesday

Every week for the last few months, I have been vlogging (video blogging) on Wednesdays about something on the farm.  It has taken me a few years to warm up to the idea of vlogging. I have been writing a weekly blog since 1998, but vlogging that took some coaxing. But eventually Marty, our social media and menu planner, was able to talk me into it. And she is quite faithful to send me reminders, but this week I beat her to the punch and sent one in before she even asked!

 

I have covered berries, apples, pruning, potatoes, chives, sunflowers, winter squash, and greenhouses. It has been a lot of fun to chronicle what is happening at that moment and what is going through my mind at that same moment. If you could hear the bloopers! I usually take three or four videos before I get an acceptable 45 – 60 second “winner”. I always seem to start with, “Hey, Klesick Family Farm customers, Tristan Klesick here……”  Last week, we talked about raspberries. This week’s topic will be decided on Wednesday morning, where I will find something that catches my eye and get to vlogging.

 

My hope is to communicate how we grow your food and the importance of growing good food.  It is about a way of farming that nourishes you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our message is one of hope through good farming and good food, hope through good customer service and hope through being a part of a community that cares about the environment now and in the future.

 

So when Wednesday rolls around check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and see what is on my mind and what is growing on the farm!

 

See you Wednesday,

 

tristan-sign

Posted on

What Are You Wearing?

laundry soap_cedar & lemongrass

Handmade La Conner Laundry Soaps

Now that you’re on the road to better health by eliminating toxins that go into your body, what about the toxins you’re putting on your body?

Laundry detergents usually contain chemicals that are dangerous to the health and irritating to the skin. A residue of these chemicals remains on clothing after it is washed that then transfers to your skin. Clear evidence of this can be found in scented products, because chemical fragrances would be useless if they were simply washed out. Chemical fragrances are especially bad and are known for aggravating asthma. Laundry product manufacturers sometimes add formaldehyde to their formulas. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic, a skin irritant, and a respiratory poison.

We’ve recently come across a natural laundry soap crafted locally by Handmade La Conner that we are really excited to share with you. These ultra-concentrated laundry soaps are handmade in small batches, absolutely never using fillers, parabens, phosphates, chlorine, artificial colors or fragrances, making them ideal for those who have sensitive skin. They are safe for both septic systems and high-efficiency washing machines.

We are making this laundry soap available to you in these refreshing options: cedar & lemongrass, lavender, sweet orange, spicy citrus, as well as unscented (fragrance comes from pure organic essential oils). Each 16-ounce jar of this powdered soap will wash up to 64 loads of laundry in a high-efficiency washing machine. Order some today and take your detoxing efforts to the next level.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the natural, skin-loving, earth-friendly soaps and lotions handcrafted by EcoSations available on our website.

 

Septic Cents™

Septic Cents™ is a liquid enzyme product that stimulates broad ranges of desirable microbe populations commonly found in septic tanks to ensure optimum performance from your septic system.

Benefits of Septic Cents™:

  • Reduces and liquefies contents of your septic tank and drainfield.
  • Reduces build-up of solid organic waste and allows it to flow freely through the leach bed.
  • Improves percolation and absorp-tion many times over, even in clay.
  • Helps eliminate messy back-ups.
  • Cleans and maintains drainfields, septic tanks, cesspools, pipes, and grease traps.

Visit the products page of our website for more information.

septic_cents_sample

Posted on

The Recipe Box: Chopped Kale Salad + Creamy Almond Ginger Dressing

salad_kale chopped2_edibleperspective.com_used by permission

This week’s recipe box features the ingredients for a recipe from Ashley McLaughlin, the person behind the inspiring blog over at Edible Perspective. I was looking for a recipe to feature the local kale we’d be getting in this week from our friends over at Ralph’s Greenhouses, and came across this one for a chopped kale salad paired with a creamy dressing – a fresh change up from the usual steamed or sautéed kale recipes.

Ashley’s salad starts out with the simple step of steaming and blanching asparagus, and then incorporates a healthy variety of textures and flavors in the form of more finely chopped (mostly raw) veggies. She then tops it all off with protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas, a creamy almond dressing infused with ginger, and finally some marinated Portabella mushrooms. Add a sprinkling of sesame seeds if you will. This is a very filling and satisfying weeknight meal. You can find the full recipe on her blog.

 

The Recipe BoxWe’ll plan, pack, and deliver…you cook and enjoy!

This box contains a recipe and all of the ingredients you will need for assembling a healthy meal for 4 people plus some additional fruit to enjoy.

This week’s featured recipe: Chopped Kale Salad + Creamy Almond Ginger Dressing

Chopped kale & cabbage covered in a creamy dressing (we’ve included directions for an almond dressing), and topped with marinated portabella mushrooms, more veggies, and chick peas. Trust us, it’s delish! Order your Recipe Box here.

Happy salad fixing!

Marty, for the Klesick Family Farm

 

Photos: Copyright © 2013, [Edible Perspective]. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Posted on

Berry Time!

The berry season started early this year. I shudder to even mention the weather, but we could use a drink for a lot of our crops, but it would be a disaster for hay farmers and berry farmers now. But it is what it is and if we get rain, great, and if we don’t we will drag out the drip tape and get to watering.

I have already dragged out the drip tape for the strawberries to keep the moisture sufficient to keep those berries growing. We plant a variety called Albion. It is a day-neutral variety, which means that it is not affected by the increasing day length like many of its June-bearing cousins. The advantage of day-neutral varieties is that they produce all season, well into October. The disadvantages are that the fruit set or production and they do not have that classic NW flavor. So we end up picking a little all season instead of a bunch in June.

The June bearing varieties produce copious amounts of strawberries in June and have that classic NW flavor, but are extremely delicate to handle. The disadvantage here is that if it is a rainy June, mold becomes an issue and you can lose a year’s worth of work pretty quick!

While I love the Albion berry for a lot of reasons, I find myself missing the bigger harvest of June bearing berries. So I decided last week to order 3000 plants of Puget Crimson. It is a newer variety developed by WSU for northwest growers. In addition to the Puget Crimson, I am also ordering Black Diamond Blackberry plants to trial them on our farm. We will start with 200 feet and go from there. The Black Diamond is also a newer variety that seems to do well in our climate and to top it off it is “thornless”!

May your health be vibrant and days be merry!

 

tristan-sign

 

Local Organic Berries & More!

Blueberry Flats…. Full $38, Half $22

Raspberry Flats…. Full $38, Half $22

Strawberry Flats. Full $36, Half $20

Pickling Cucumbers……. 5 lbs. $7.50

Bulk Basil……………………… 1 lb. $7.50

Green Beans……………….. 20 lbs. $40

Garlic & Dill will also be available – notify us to request some with your pickling cuke or other bulk order!

To place your order, please call our office (360-652-4663) and we will add your name to our reservation list. Once the items are ripe and ready, we will contact you and schedule a delivery. Orders are on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Posted on

Fresh Summer Rolls

I am currently in Peru. One the activities I enjoy the most here—other than spending time with family—is going to the local farmers markets. To me, visiting a market in any country is always a fascinating experience. While strolling around, you learn (or get reminded) so much about the local lifestyle and customs—more than any book, museum or tourist attraction can teach you. A few hours after our arrival, we headed to the organic farmers market and that was a treat! Fruits I forgot I grew up eating, vegetables I´d never heard of, aromatic herbs and every kind of potato I could imagine! Vendors offer their products enthusiastically while customers negotiate prices and freely taste before buying. Stunning in Lima markets is the great variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs from all over the country, reflecting the rich biodiversity of Peru. Merchants are very friendly and more than happy to explain the origin of fruits or veggies and their preparation.

The excitement was intoxicating and with all the beautiful and colorful produce, I wanted to cook a dish that would let the ingredients be the star of the show—Fresh Summer Rolls.

I think a lot of people can agree that fresh summer rolls is one of those dishes that you gladly order in a restaurant but rarely make at home. My friends and I were blaming this on how that it was hard to find the right ingredients, that it took a lot of time to make and was quite difficult to make. During this trip, however, I realized that none of my excuses were valid. The only thing I thought could be a hard to find was rice paper, but I found it at the supermarket. In America, some supermarkets carry it and definitely any Asian market would carry it as well. They don’t take a lot of time to make either. And how difficult is it to roll them? Well, the first ones looked sad. But after a couple of tries they drastically improved. They tasted just as good (or even better) as in a five-star restaurant when you use fresh, organic ingredients.

Summer rolls are made with rice paper rounds and don’t require any cooking. If you’ve never worked with rice paper before, don’t be intimidated, as it’s really easy. The great thing about summer rolls is that they can be filled with anything – fruit, veggies, or your protein of choice. Oh, and the dipping sauce? It´s awesome: roasted peanut butter, tamari or soy sauce, fresh orange juice, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and a touch of sugar to balance it all out.

I couldn’t imagine going through summer without making this ultimate light, fresh and healthy dish!

 

Sara Balcazar-Greene

www.peruvianchick.com

 

 

 

 

SUMMER VEGGIE ROLL WITH PEANUT SAUCE

Ingredients for the filling:

Spring Roll Wrappers (at least 8-10)

Cooked chicken, sliced (optional)

2 cups Vermicelli rice noodles cooked and lightly seasoned with sesame oil.

1/2 English cucumber, julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned

2 medium carrots, shredded

3-4 lettuce leaves, julienned

1/4 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, thick stems removed and minced

1/3 cup roasted & salted peanuts

Sea salt, to season

 

Ingredients for the peanut sauce:

1/4 cup natural roasted peanut butter

2 tbsp. sesame oil

1/2-1 tbsp. peeled & roughly chopped fresh ginger

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tbsp. low sodium tamari or soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

1-3 tsp water, to thin out as needed

 

Directions:

1.             For the filling: Julienne the vegetables (slice into long thin strips). Set aside, along with peanuts. Mix the carrots and red bell pepper and lightly season with sesame oil salt and pepper.

2.             For the sauce: Blend the sauce ingredients until smooth. Adjust to taste. You may prefer more sweetener, tamari, oil, or lime juice.

TIME TO ROLL

1.             Set up a roll making station and gather all of your ingredients in one area. Place a tea towel on the counter and fill a very large bowl with hot tap water. Dip one rice paper wrapper into the water and carefully submerge it once it gets soft. Hold it under water for about 10 seconds, or until soft, and remove from water carefully. Place it onto the tea towel and unfold any corners that may have rolled up.

2.             Add the filling ingredients in the center of the wrapper. Do not to overfill or the wrappers will tear. Sprinkle with peanuts and a sprinkle of salt.

3.             Roll the two sides of the rice wrapper inward and then flip the bottom over top the filling and roll forward. Place roll on a plate and cover with damp paper towels. Repeat for the rest.

4.             Serve the rolls immediately with the peanut dipping sauce.